Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

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Reika
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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Reika »

I am commenting here again to give unambiguous support for the idea - originally from MrGrimm - to make the basic oil processing produce only heavy oil and have the player also have access to some form of cracking - current or "basic" - to get the other products, slowly and inefficiently. This is most in line with the current design of oil processing - where higher tech recipes increase petroleum gas production at the expense of heavy oil, not the other way around - and is far less prone to creating a "meta" of "just place 100 basic oil refineries and one advanced, you need mostly petroleum anyways".


However, the main focus of my post is going to be something else:

Thinking about this change more, along with many other changes in 0.17, and I am noticing a pattern, where it seems like the game is being oversimplified in the goal of maximizing popularity, with no regard as to what makes the game unique or appealing, and seemingly without all that much thought put into the changes or their ramifications, either. I warned of this back in FFF266 because of several of their changes, and some of the changes some players were calling for back then, were clear indicators of that being a plausible future direction for the game.
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Now, just as then, seeing the game actually start going that way is weakening my confidence in the game and the developers. I used to eagerly await every FFF and upcoming change. Now, more than once, I have had some degree of trepidation when looking, because I cannot shake that concern of "what might they have thrown away this time just to make things easier for the tenth percentile".
Last edited by Reika on Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by ERJHolton »

irbork wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:42 am
I gave it some thought and there may be 2 good solutions to the oil problem:
1) have 3 different basic oil processing recipes, each with single output petroleum, light or heavy oil,
2) have basic oil processing as it is now but any excess of products that are not taken out will be burnt off; if you connect all exits to tanks you have same as you had without changes but if you connect only one or two you will have very inefficient but easy way to get everything running.
I like this idea. Keeps all fractions at the same tech level, keeps lubricant / electric engines at the same tech level, allows for the better recipe for solid fuel to stay at the same tech level, and postpones the single-entity complexity that the devs claim is the problem with current oil. Only thing I can suggest further would be to add water as a required input for basic processing as well, to get that fixed in people's heads immediately.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by zyklame »

I like all the changes beside the new basic oil receipt.
Just pick one of the many proposals already made in these thread.
There are many ways that i think would be better than what is described in the FFF.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Sander_Bouwhuis »

FuryoftheStars wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:49 pm
NaurEnForven wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:33 pm
Make it easily visible if a refinery is working
Just want to point out that everything in the game has some sort of an animation showing when it's working. In the case of the refineries, it's the flames coming out of its flare stack. If there are no flames, it's not working. And then opening the refinery's gui will highlight in red the problem spot, whether it's backed up output or lacking input.
That's way too subtle. Most people will not notice this.

I'm a BIG proponent of adding the Bottleneck mod into the vanilla game. It's all about information. The bottleneck mod gives you the information you need to make informed decisions.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

Reika wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:03 pm
I am commenting here again to give unambiguous support for the idea - originally from MrGrimm - to make the basic oil processing produce only heavy oil and have the player also have access to some form of cracking - current or "basic" - to get the other products, slowly and inefficiently. This is most in line with the current design of oil processing - where higher tech recipes increase petroleum gas production at the expense of heavy oil, not the other way around - and is far less prone to creating a "meta" of "just place 100 basic oil refineries and one advanced, you need mostly petroleum anyways".
I still feel like this just delays the concept of dealing with multiple outputs and doesn't actually solve anything.
Reika wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:03 pm
However, the main focus of my post is going to be something else:

Thinking about this change more, and I am noticing a pattern, where it seems like the game is being oversimplified in the goal of maximizing popularity, with no regard as to what makes the game unique or appealing, and seemingly without all that much thought put into the changes or their ramifications, either. I warned of this back in FFF266 because of several of their changes, and some of the changes some players were calling for back then, were clear indicators of that being a plausible future direction for the game.

Now, just as then, seeing the game actually start going that way is weakening my confidence in the game and the developers. I used to eagerly await every FFF and upcoming change. Now, more than once, I have had some degree of trepidation when looking, because I cannot shake that concern of "what might they have thrown away this time just to make things easier for the tenth percentile".
I feel the same way.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by PacifyerGrey »

This topic feels definitely like a combat reconnaissance by Kovarex in his favorite style of throwing shit on the fan and see the reaction. Like belts vs bots and alike :)

I see what you are doing you nasty guy ;)

But it definitely works as you get a great brainstorm on the topic really fast.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:09 pm
FuryoftheStars wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:49 pm
NaurEnForven wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:33 pm
Make it easily visible if a refinery is working
Just want to point out that everything in the game has some sort of an animation showing when it's working. In the case of the refineries, it's the flames coming out of its flare stack. If there are no flames, it's not working. And then opening the refinery's gui will highlight in red the problem spot, whether it's backed up output or lacking input.
That's way too subtle. Most people will not notice this.

I'm a BIG proponent of adding the Bottleneck mod into the vanilla game. It's all about information. The bottleneck mod gives you the information you need to make informed decisions.
How is a colored dot any different from fire shooting up from a stack? They're both just visual indicators. The only difference is that the color of the dot from bottleneck tells you whether you have an input or output related issue, which you also get by opening the gui. But if the user isn't paying attention to the flames coming out of the building, what makes you think they'll pay attention to the dot?

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by irbork »

ERJHolton wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:06 pm
irbork wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:42 am
I like this idea. Keeps all fractions at the same tech level, keeps lubricant / electric engines at the same tech level, allows for the better recipe for solid fuel to stay at the same tech level, and postpones the single-entity complexity that the devs claim is the problem with current oil. Only thing I can suggest further would be to add water as a required input for basic processing as well, to get that fixed in people's heads immediately.
No water in basic oil processing is one of its greatest advantages. It lets to save some ups and allows to build oil processing anywhere where there is oil. I think that single oil input is enough to fix people on the water pipe position.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Darkehart »

As an experienced player, the oil changes make me cringe. While the ability to lock off the individual fluid ports is awesome and closing the water port is a good idea for basic processing (although you should probably also try to prevent the player running a crude oil pipe next to that port so that they can change it to the advanced processing without picking up their pipe), altering the outputs screws up so many things but as an advanced player I'll just set up my whole kit, including the overflow processing which would normally only turn gas into fuel as a last resort, and let it automatically turn off when I get advanced processing.

A new player will NOT know how to do that. You have successfully broken up the whole refinery building stage of progression into smaller pieces, which should make it simpler to understand, but once a player has it all figured out they don't need this step to be dragged out this much anymore. It's a change I could live with if I have to, but it's annoying. If you decide to go ahead with it anyway, please consider basic processing recipes that output the other two fluids individually (for a total of three basic processing recipes). You can use the fluidbox choosing tech to make the output come from the same port as advanced processing. You could even restrict the player to making solid fuel only out of light oil until they research advanced processing, so the new players learn right away which fluid is best used for what.

Actually, that would be awesome. I would be completely satisfied with that. =^.^=

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Theikkru »

Obstacle avoidance rail planning is back! Hallelujah! Love all the changes except one. Guess which?

My two cents on the oil recipe changes: I like the shuffling of the recipes and don't mind bots being behind chemical science, but there are 2 aspects I think need a bit more consideration.
First, as has been pointed out, light oil no longer has a recipe exclusive to it, and given that the habit of cracking everything to petroleum is already quite prevalent with current recipes, I think light oil needs to be an ingredient in something.
Second, I think this could actually worsen the oil refining experience, especially for newer players. While the barrier for setting up initial refining would be far lower, basic processing would no longer introduce the concept of output blocking, which means that new players especially would set up basic refining as they would any other single-input-single-output production line. This makes things a lot worse when advanced processing is researched, because at that point not only would they be confronted with having to pipe in water, they would also have to figure out how to pipe out light and heavy oils. This almost guarantees a complete tear-up and redesign of the processing line, all before bots are available, and depending on factory spaghetti-ness and space allowances, there might not be enough room for the expansion anymore. Worse, having solved the Tetris and plugged everything in by hand, players would then quickly encounter the output balancing problem, adding more frustration on top.

To remedy this, I highly recommend that the number of outputs be changed to two, not one; previous mention of keeping light oil seems appropriate. This would allow players to encounter the output balancing problem early on, but in a more limited capacity that is easier to solve, and, with the lopsided output locations, would hint at the future presence of the 3rd output for heavy oil (and the water input too). In addition, this would open up the option of using light oil for the flamethrower ammo recipe, which would not only maintain an exclusive purpose for light oil, but would also be consistent with the highest ammo damage bonus for flamethrower turrets.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Sander_Bouwhuis »

FuryoftheStars wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:13 pm
Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:09 pm
FuryoftheStars wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:49 pm
NaurEnForven wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:33 pm
Make it easily visible if a refinery is working
Just want to point out that everything in the game has some sort of an animation showing when it's working. In the case of the refineries, it's the flames coming out of its flare stack. If there are no flames, it's not working. And then opening the refinery's gui will highlight in red the problem spot, whether it's backed up output or lacking input.
That's way too subtle. Most people will not notice this.

I'm a BIG proponent of adding the Bottleneck mod into the vanilla game. It's all about information. The bottleneck mod gives you the information you need to make informed decisions.
How is a colored dot any different from fire shooting up from a stack? They're both just visual indicators. The only difference is that the color of the dot from bottleneck tells you whether you have an input or output related issue, which you also get by opening the gui. But if the user isn't paying attention to the flames coming out of the building, what makes you think they'll pay attention to the dot?
Because the coloured dot is very distinctive. Also, it works on all devices, so you get used to quickly looking at these dots. I personally have turned off the 'ok' dot. So, only if there is an input or output problem do I see a dot. Even zoomed out so that dozens of devices are visible, I can see this within a second or so.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Hiladdar »

In some ways I like the changes to oil processing, in other ways, I do not. Currently basic oil processing produces 30-30-40 heavy-light-petrol and advanced produces 10-45-55.

Negative, is that this may break a large number of maps, mostly mid game maps. Also in .17 there is not enough heavy oil and the first oil processing produces more heavy oil then just about anything else. The advanced oil processing does not produce as much heavy oil. On my .17.xx.xx games, I use basic oil-processing 1 to generate more heavy oil, specifically to make robot frames.

Positive, is that this will greatly simply producing those items that have petroleum within the chain.

I think that when the oil changes patch does come out, I see several possible solutions:

a. Offer both worlds to the player, how do they want to oil generation, pre-oil patch or post-oil patch. I think some players will want to be able to play on maps with the pre-oil patch, at least to finish a game, others will want to the post-oil patch. I plan to add that to my manufacturing mod which deals with oil processing.

b. Another solution a new separate mod to allow the player to choose either the pre or post oil processing within the game. That is a fairly easy mod and I fully expect someone to implement that rather quickly.

c. Rohan Bernett & & Atlas already has a solution implemented in Petrol-Condensation-Reload which solidifies oil products from petroleum to light and then to heavy.

d. Take a second look at items which rely on heavy oil and subsequently lube, someplace within the production chain, and adjust the recipes as blue belts, splitters, and underground belts in addition to robot frames. Consider introducing what Rohan Bernett & & Atlas mod's capability into the game.

e. (edited) One other option, I fully endorse, (can't remember who proposed it), is to make the current basic oil processing and turn it into intermediate oil processing. Keep advance the and coal liquafication the same, and the new oil processing that is proposed in FF 304 becomes the new basic oil processing.

f. (edited) Hold off implementation of changes to oil processing a patch or two to digest player feedback.

Hiladdar
Last edited by Hiladdar on Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:27 pm
Because the coloured dot is very distinctive. Also, it works on all devices, so you get used to quickly looking at these dots. I personally have turned off the 'ok' dot. So, only if there is an input or output problem do I see a dot. Even zoomed out so that dozens of devices are visible, I can see this within a second or so.
I would dare say that probably what makes it distinctive is because it's not using the same color palette as the game. Personally, I find that a little jarring. I'm not disputing its QoL effect, cause yeah, you know what's going on without opening the guis of the assemblers and all, but it doesn't fit the theme of the game. If you adjust the color to better fit, then it's not as distinctive.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by AideenFb »

I was so startled at the proposed change to basic oil processing that I had to sleep on it. I don't see how this current proposed change to oil can be anything but detrimental. Please take this to heart! I've been around since FFF #78, and I'm still thrilled to keep adding to my 3k+ hours played!

I can't think of a worse solution for an imagined problem. The idea that the easiest most basic process to refine oil will yield only the most highly refined product is just beyond silly. Especially if it also encourages new players to use petroleum gas to make solid fuel. I've frankly never thought it was a good idea that that's even possible.

If the goal is to produce a logical production chain that players can follow without also needing to solve the multiple output problems, then we should be starting with heavy oil and refining that into what we need.

This would require that cracking be included in the Basic Oil Processing tech node. This actually makes sense though, as in order to acquire the more highly refined products we would need to further refine what we have. Then later, when we've mastered these processes, we gain the ability to process out multiple products at once that previously required layers of refining to acquire. That would make Adv. Oil Processing meaningful to research.

The beauty of this is not only is it more realistic, it also better prepares new players to deal with the complexity of adv oil processing, without forcing them to use it!

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by conn11 »

A vanilla bottelneck dot would be perfectly fitting for the Alt mode. Like inserter arrows, don‘t like it don‘t use it. Maybe even and a blue or purple dot esspecially for product overflow.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by ERJHolton »

Another solution for the issues of complexity and lack of unique recipes for light oil would be to simply delete light oil, and move the efficient recipe for solid fuel to heavy oil.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by mcdjfp »

This is what I am really afraid of. When does this stop? How many items will be left when it does?

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Sander_Bouwhuis »

conn11 wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:44 pm
A vanilla bottelneck dot would be perfectly fitting for the Alt mode. Like inserter arrows, don‘t like it don‘t use it. Maybe even and a blue or purple dot esspecially for product overflow.
Yes, but would a new player see this? I didn't find the 'alt' mode until after having struggled needlessly for a long time. When I found this 'alt' mode, I was soooooooo happy.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Adamo »

Reika wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:03 pm
Now, just as then, seeing the game actually start going that way is weakening my confidence in the game and the developers. I used to eagerly await every FFF and upcoming change. Now, more than once, I have had some degree of trepidation when looking, because I cannot shake that concern of "what might they have thrown away this time just to make things easier for the tenth percentile".
I am in great agreement with many of your sentiments, here. In fact, many of the game mechanics that exist aren't even being used, when they should be, because it would actually make the game numbers more sensible if they were . For example, steam engines can have efficiencies under the prototype, but they're just set at 100%, and because of this the steam temperatures are a bit weird (too low) to provide the amount of energy they do. When I put some reasonable numbers into the steam engine and boiler efficiencies, I found that the steam temperature had to be brought up to much closer to the steam temperature from real fossil fuel boilers: ~350 degrees. It didn't even change the numbers for designs: still have 1 boiler to 2 steam engines, perfectly balanced. But my point is, why are we building all this complication into the game if we're just going to provide recipes and design possibilities that don't use them? Again I ask, what is even the point of using a refinery if it just takes in crude oil and outputs petroleum gas?
Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:00 pm
Yes, but would a new player see this? I didn't find the 'alt' mode until after having struggled needlessly for a long time. When I found this 'alt' mode, I was soooooooo happy.
It tells you about the alt mode in the quicktips when you join any game. It tells you about the alt mode in the tutorial. It has an alt mode button at the bottom right in the shortcuts to the right of the toolbar. It has the alt mode in the control settings, where you can set what button turns it on and off. At some point, the player needs to take some responsibility to actually look around the game at what is available. We shouldn't be dumbing the game down because players take a long time to figure out that there's more to learn about the game.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by conn11 »

Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:00 pm
conn11 wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:44 pm
A vanilla bottelneck dot would be perfectly fitting for the Alt mode. Like inserter arrows, don‘t like it don‘t use it. Maybe even and a blue or purple dot esspecially for product overflow.
Yes, but would a new player see this? I didn't find the 'alt' mode until after having struggled needlessly for a long time. When I found this 'alt' mode, I was soooooooo happy.
Prior to .17 either by YouTube or you get just lucky. Now its right there on the hotbar. Furthermore you have the game hints and following FF 299 (?) a fancy looking introduction campain. At some point a new player HAS to learn the game.

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